News and Online Editor
I need thicker socks. Good thing I go to a school whose student body makes up probably a quarter of Smartwool’s clientele. Yes, the shoes I’ve been asked to fill this semester are so big that the inevitable blisters may best even the most experienced ORC level-three leader.
I’m a freshman from Portsmouth, Rhode Island and Warren, Pennsylvania, and I’m excited to say that this is my second block as News and Online Editor at the Catalyst.
During my first few days at CC, I was excited to start college, sure that I would never again subject myself to the torture of running, or at least of holding a position of some responsibility at, a student newspaper. I was the editor of my high school paper during my senior year at Middlesex School in Concord, MA. I would equate the environment at Middlesex, a boarding school, to that of a pressure-cooker, but instead of a succulent roast, Middlesex concocts tightly-wound Ivy League all-stars… and some lax bros.
Because I loved writing (it’s sort of the only thing I’ve ever seen myself doing besides going on tour with Funkdozer), getting involved with the paper seemed like a good choice.
But keeping up with a micro-managed schedule of school-sports-dinner-sleep-repeat made running a newspaper unbearably stressful. (Not to mention, Middlesex is a brand name school that cares as much about maintaining a flawless image as it does about making sure that students aren’t having sex on the soccer field, so we weren’t really able to practice much true journalism.) Thus, I decided, coming into CC, to give myself a break and stay as far away from The Catalyst as possible.
As fate would insist, though, I found myself writing my first story within a week of moving in.
I was at a place that marks the confluence of intellectual exploration and the kind of career-focused ambition you will find on any Thursday night in the office at the Catalyst: a CC house party. It was in “some house on Uintah” that a tall sophomore from Florida and shorter senior from Delaware cracked my resolution.
Maybe its fate that the house I found myself at on one of those first warm fall nights was none other than that of previous Editor-in-Chief Jesse Paul. And perhaps there’s a reason why that night, I met the person who reminded that I “don’t have choice” when it comes to getting involved with student journalism, current Editor-in-Chief Jack Sweeney.
Jack introduced himself and shortly thereafter broached the Catalyst. I immediately withdrew and put up a defensive shield, knowing how easily it would be for me to get roped into the stressful lifestyle I went through at Middlesex. But somehow, by the end of the conversation, Jack had typed my name and number on a yellow note on his iPhone and was promising to send me an assignment soon.
I saw ambition and commitment in Jack (and a dash of masochism) and I knew he was someone to whom I could look up and relate, and laugh and work with.
I was soon covering CCSGA budget issues, a student-bar that mysteriously closed, and the economic impact that CC has on the Springs.
During the fall, Jack, Jesse, and Eliza Carter served as News Editor at different times. The professionalism and unrelenting commitment I saw restored my faith in the power of student journalism. Creative writing professor (and my advisor), Steve Hayward, often predicts that Jesse is eight years away from his first Pulitzer Prize, and I think he’s right.
Encouraged by Jack’s prodigy-like ascent to the high-ranking offices of The Catalyst, I applied for the News Editor position at the end of Block Four. There were a few speed bumps, but Jack and Erica Evans (current Managing Editor) hired me.
This semester has been more than I expected. I won’t be writing as many articles, but the writers who write for my section are great to work with and Thursday nights are actually fun sometimes, especially when we get guacamole with our Chipotle.
In addition to maintaining the standard that has been set for my section, I plan on spending this semester changing the Catalyst’s online identity, as News and Online Editor.
Oh and to anyone who wants to help me out: I’m a nine and a half and I love Adidas Sambas.